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The Fool On The Hill
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3 December 2014
4.59pm
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Joe
Pepperland
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Magical Mystery Tour album artwork

Written by: Lennon-McCartney
Recorded: 6, 25-27 September; 20 October 1967
Producer: George Martin
Engineer: Ken Scott

Released: 8 December 1967 (UK), 27 November 1967 (US)

Paul McCartney: vocals, piano, acoustic guitar, bass, recorder
John Lennon: harmonica, Jew's harp
George Harrison: acoustic guitar, harmonica
Ringo Starr: drums, maracas, finger cymbals
Christopher Taylor, Richard Taylor, Jack Ellory:…

Can buy me love! Please consider using these links to support the Beatles Bible: Amazon | iTunes
Or buy my paperback/ebook! Riding So High – The Beatles and Drugs

Don't miss The Bowie Bible – now live!

16 March 2017
2.36am
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ewe2
Inside the beat
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Very much a Paul production. I have heard so many crazy covers of this song, performers really took to it after its release (go look for the Icelandic version by Björk for instance). I'm not a fan of the recorders as solo instruments to be honest, they're a good texture otherwise. Interesting lyric given the period, and linked to the major/minor turn in the music quite dramatic. And now the cover my parents inflicted upon me at an early age (it's not bad really):

I'm like Necko only I'm a bassist ukulele guitar synthesizer kazoo penguin and also everyone. Or is everyone me? Now I'm a confused bassist ukulele guitar synthesizer kazoo penguin everyone who is definitely not @Joe.  This has been true for 2016 & 2017 Sig-Badge.png but I may have to get more specific in the future.

16 March 2017
5.37am
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Leppo
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I wonder what the lyrical inspiration for this song was. I don't suppose it was one of Paul's sly digs at John who lived on St George's Hill estate and spent long periods of time sitting still watching the world go by? He was also often "Well on the way, head in a cloud". I'm not trying to say it would have been intended in a nasty way and that all the lyrics make sense but perhaps Paul using a few observations to write a song. 

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Pivotal Moments in Beatles History No.118:  Yoko helps herself to one of George's digestives. 

16 March 2017
8.28am
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Pablo Ramon
Some Time in NYC
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In A Hard Day's Write, Steve Turner claims it is vaguely about a fictitious, misunderstood guru sort of person, someone with a divine nature who is thought to be a fool or an idiot. He also mentions a story from Alistair Taylor's book in which he and Paul were walking Martha on Primrose Hill and a man mysteriously appeared and just as mysteriously disappeared, prompting him and Paul to discuss the incident in divine and mystical terms. Taylor claims this was the inspiration for the song.

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9 May 2017
9.45pm
McCall1981
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I love this song, absolutely beautiful.

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10 May 2017
8.09pm
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Dark Overlord
Nowhere Land
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For anybody who wants a quick fun fact, John used a classical guitar on this song instead of a traditional steel string acoustic.

953e04563bdadcab106c8375f76a4411.jpg

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If you're reading this, you are looking for something to do.

10 May 2017
9.46pm
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sir walter raleigh
In our yellow (IN OUR YELLOW) submarine (SUBMARINE AHA!)
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George too on And I Love Her

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"The pump don't work cause the vandals took the handles!"

-Bob Dylan, Subterranean Homesick Blues

"We could ride and surf together while our love would grow"

-Brian Wilson, Surfer Girl

13 May 2017
7.10pm
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Dark Overlord
Nowhere Land
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If you're reading this, you are looking for something to do.

29 June 2017
8.56pm
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Elementary Penguin
Hollywood Bowl
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I used to like this song but then I got sick of it and now I like it again. I have to be in the mood to go out of my way to listen to it though. The recorder is the highlight for me.

And in the end the lunch you take is equal to the lunch you bake.

30 June 2017
12.05am
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Martha
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I used to not like the song too much but then three things happened. a) I learned the chords and found that the D6 at the beginning is absolutely beautiful, b) I realised how ingenious the lyrics are and c) I listened to take four on Anthology 2 and liked it way better, especially the recorder part. Therefore, I love the song now!

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Not once does the diversity seem forced -- the genius of the record is how the vaudevillian "When I'm 64" seems like a logical extension of "Within You Without You" and how it provides a gateway to the chiming guitars of "Lovely Rita. - Stephen T. Erlewine on Sgt Pepper's

30 June 2017
7.35am
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Flyingbrians
Robin Hood Country
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Martha said
I used to not like the song too much but then three things happened. a) I learned the chords and found that the D6 at the beginning is absolutely beautiful, b) I realised how ingenious the lyrics are and c) I listened to take four on Anthology 2 and liked it way better, especially the recorder part. Therefore, I love the song now!  

I was the same until I started playing it on guitar. That D6 chord is beautiful - in fact the whole chord progression is. I think it's a great example of Paul's strength as a songwriter. It also has some of his most imaginative and cryptic lyrics.

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"And life flows on within you and without you" - George Harrison

30 June 2017
8.33am
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Dark Overlord
Nowhere Land
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I wonder why Joe says that George played acoustic guitar, the only guitar that i can hear is John's classical.

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2 July 2017
7.48pm
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Elementary Penguin
Hollywood Bowl
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Is it possible that George played the acoustic guitar on the recorded version?

It is hard to know for sure because by 1967 each member was playing different instruments on each song.

And in the end the lunch you take is equal to the lunch you bake.

2 July 2017
7.53pm
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Dark Overlord
Nowhere Land
Rishikesh
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It's hard to tell, i can only hear 1 guitar, playing arpeggiated chords during the verse 4 notes at a time played slowly and it sounds like a classical guitar to me, so my guess would be John but it could be George or even Paul with John possibly playing something on the backing track that's inaudible and or possibly wiped.

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2 July 2017
8.16pm
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Elementary Penguin
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I can only hear the one guitar as well. I wouldn't be surprised if Paul played the majority of the instruments on this song.

And in the end the lunch you take is equal to the lunch you bake.

28 March 2018
5.13am
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Father McKenzie
Liverpool England
Candlestick Park
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Leppo said
I wonder what the lyrical inspiration for this song was. I don't suppose it was one of Paul's sly digs at John who lived on St George's Hill estate and spent long periods of time sitting still watching the world go by? He was also often "Well on the way, head in a cloud". I'm not trying to say it would have been intended in a nasty way and that all the lyrics make sense but perhaps Paul using a few observations to write a song.   

Interesting thoughts @Leppo. I'd read somewhere that the lyrics were linked to the Maharishi, but I'd never thought of it in terms of John before. You're probably right though. It's actually quite cool to listen to it,and think of John as 'the Fool' (not in a disrespectful way of course a-hard-days-night-george-10). Regardless, it's a great song,and has always been one of my favourites

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Still writing the words to the sermon that no one will hear......

28 March 2018
7.46am
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Father McKenzie
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Father McKenzie said

Interesting thoughts @Leppo. I'd read somewhere that the lyrics were linked to the Maharishi, but I'd never thought of it in terms of John before. You're probably right though. It's actually quite cool to listen to it,and think of John as 'the Fool' (not in a disrespectful way of course a-hard-days-night-george-10). Regardless, it's a great song,and has always been one of my favourites  

@Leppo: See my post above. My first @ didn't workpaul-mccartney-facepalm_gif

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Still writing the words to the sermon that no one will hear......

28 March 2018
7.49am
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Zig
The Toppermost of the Poppermost
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This is one of my "on the fence" songs. I love the lyrics but, to me, there is an certain edge that is missing from the music. It lacks the "ooomph" that holds my interest. It's as if Paul took some elevator Muzak and dubbed his vocals over it. On the positive side, the way he delivers the vocals in a few spots are quite impressive. In the context of the canon album, it does set the mood nicely for the next track ('Flying '), but on its own, it just doesn't grab me.

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To the fountain of perpetual mirth, let it roll for all its worth. And all the children boogie.

28 March 2018
10.09am
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Beatlebug
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I see that I haven't posted here how much I love this song. derek-taylor_01_gif

So here I go: I LOVE THIS SONG. I've loved it since the very first minute I heard it, when I was about nine and its bittersweet melody grabbed me from the start. I think this song taught me to love sweet, melancholy melodies. It sounds to me like the nostalgia of early spring days. heart

We've been happy together ever since two-virgins a-hard-days-night-george-10

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It verges from the sublime to the ridiculote

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28 March 2018
11.05am
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Ahhh Girl
sailing on a winedark open sea
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I, too, have loved this song from the moment I heard it. I think my affinity for the song stems from the deep poetry explication I did during my Freshman year at college of the poem Mr. Flood's Party by Edwin Arlington Robinson.

Old Eben Flood, climbing alone one night
Over the hill between the town below
And the forsaken upland hermitage
That held as much as he should ever know
On earth again of home, paused warily.
The road was his with not a native near;
And Eben, having leisure, said aloud,
For no man else in Tilbury Town to hear:

"Well, Mr. Flood, we have the harvest moon
Again, and we may not have many more;
The bird is on the wing, the poet says,
And you and I have said it here before.
Drink to the bird." He raised up to the light
The jug that he had gone so far to fill,
And answered huskily: "Well, Mr. Flood,
Since you propose it, I believe I will."

Alone, as if enduring to the end
A valiant armor of scarred hopes outworn,
He stood there in the middle of the road
Like Roland's ghost winding a silent horn.
Below him, in the town among the trees,
Where friends of other days had honored him,
A phantom salutation of the dead
Rang thinly till old Eben's eyes were dim.

Then, as a mother lays her sleeping child
Down tenderly, fearing it may awake,
He set the jug down slowly at his feet
With trembling care, knowing that most things break;
And only when assured that on firm earth
It stood, as the uncertain lives of men
Assuredly did not, he paced away,
And with his hand extended paused again:

"Well, Mr. Flood, we have not met like this
In a long time; and many a change has come
To both of us, I fear, since last it was
We had a drop together. Welcome home!"
Convivially returning with himself,
Again he raised the jug up to the light;
And with an acquiescent quaver said:
"Well, Mr. Flood, if you insist, I might.

"Only a very little, Mr. Flood—
For auld lang syne. No more, sir; that will do."
So, for the time, apparently it did,
And Eben evidently thought so too;
For soon amid the silver loneliness
Of night he lifted up his voice and sang,
Secure, with only two moons listening,
Until the whole harmonious landscape rang—

"For auld lang syne." The weary throat gave out,
The last word wavered; and the song being done,
He raised again the jug regretfully
And shook his head, and was again alone.
There was not much that was ahead of him,
And there was nothing in the town below—
Where strangers would have shut the many doors
That many friends had opened long ago.

I feel a haunting resemblance between the song and the poem.

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